Offered by The Vault | Online | October 1-14, 2020
Maurice Wolfe had already been floating around the automotive world for some time by 1912, when he purchased the Clark Motor Car Company of Shelbyville, Indiana, and moved it to Piqua, Ohio, where he would change the name to the Meteor Motor Car Company in 1915. Two six-cylinder models were offered in 1915, and a V-12 touring car was advertised in 1916.
From 1917 through 1930, Meteor offered “Custom Pleasure Cars” on demand. The only “production” vehicles they made at that time were ambulances and funeral cars. And, for a hot second in 1927, they built 27 examples of this Yellowstone National Park touring… bus? Car? They were built at the request of the U.S. government.
It’s powered by an inline-four and features an oak rear bumper and replacement wood seats. Meteor eventually segued entirely into the coachbuilding business in the early 1930s. They were purchased by the Wayne bus company in 1954 and were then rebranded as Miller-Meteor. The brand was shuttered in 1979. On a brighter note, this car will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot Racecourse, U.K. | September 26, 2020
Bean Cars was an offshoot of an older company that dated back to 1822. It was started as a foundry by Absolom Harper. Harper’s granddaughter married George Bean, who would take over the company in 1901. Cars didn’t arrive until 1919, which was more or less a frantic attempt to fill the void left by the lack of need for munitions after the armistice.
So for the next 12 years, Bean produced passenger cars and commercial vehicles. In 1926, they launched the 18/50HP, which was powered by a 3.0-liter Meadows-sourced inline-six. Only about 500 examples were produced before the end of 1927, and Historics reports that only four “Super Sport Open Tourers” were constructed.
It’s Bentley-esque, that’s for sure. But it’s also probably pretty usable. This, the only surviving model of its type, is expected to fetch $175,000-$195,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Online | July 31-August 1, 2020
Benjamin was a car company founded in 1921 by Maurice Jeanson not far from Paris. They specialized in cyclecars, or light cars with small engines and cycle-type wheels. In 1927, the company opened a second factory and rebranded from Benjamin to Benova, which supposedly meant “New Benjamin.”
Anyway, the new company lasted through 1929. At least 300 examples of the B3 were built between 1927 and 1929 and they were powered by a 945cc Chapuis-Dornier inline-four. Factory bodies included a coupe and two torpedos.
This car is quite sporty, wearing a racing-style body dressed in French Grand Prix Car blue (not a real paint color name). It almost looks like a cross between a period Indy car and an Amilcar. But it’ll be cheaper than either of those with an estimate between $19,000-$22,500. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | March 29, 2020
Frazer Nash is interesting for a number of reasons, one of which is that they offered quite a few distinct models, none of which were built in any great quantity. And yet, examples of all survive.
The Boulogne was offered in two series between 1926 and 1932. Early cars received Anzani engines, which this car had. But it was at some point retrofitted with a later car’s 1.5-liter Meadows inline-four. The car was raced in the 1920s before being re-bodied as a sedan.
But the sedan body was damaged during WWII, and it was re-bodied again as a Super Sport. Now it’s hillclimb ready. Only 30 examples of the Boulogne were produced between both series. This one should bring between $140,000-$180,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 16-17, 2020
Locomobile was one of America’s earliest car companies, and they began by producing steam cars. Gasoline-powered vehicles followed, and the company survived WWI and into the 1920s. In 1919, the Model 48 was introduced, and it was the grandest car the company ever made.
A few years later, in 1922, Locomobile was acquired by Billy Durant, who was forming his post-GM empire, Durant Motors. Locomobile was at the top of the heap, alongside Durant, Star, Flint, and Rugby. It all went wrong after the stock market crash in 1929, and the brands disappeared after 1932, with Locomobile not even making it to the 1930s.
The Model 90 was introduced in 1926 and is powered by an 86-horsepower, 6.1-liter L-head inline-six. It rode on a 138-inch wheelbase, which was only four inches shorter than the mighty 48. This example is one of two Model 90 Sportifs known to exist and is thought to have once been owned by Cliff Durant, a racing driver, and Billy’s son.
You can read more about it here and see more from RM here.
1927 Duesenberg Model X Dual Cowl Phaeton by Locke
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | St. Louis, Missouri | May 4-5, 2019
After the Duesenberg Model A had been on sale for six years, the Duesenberg brothers introduced a new, sportier model: the Model X. Shortly after its announcement, E.L. Cord swooped in and bought the company, ushering the new Model J into production and cancelling the Model X. Only 13 were built before Model J production took over.
It is powered by a 5.3-liter straight-eight capable of 100 horsepower, and the car itself was not just a slightly modified Model A. It was a mostly new car. This particular example carries a dual cowl phaeton body from Locke – the only remaining such example of four built.
With known ownership history from new – and a lengthy stay in the Harrah Collection – this is certainly a car to watch. Especially considering only four or five of these still exist. The current restoration was actually performed by Harrah’s team and is over 50 years old. The last Model X to change hands was this car – in 1996. They make acquiring a Model J seem like a rather ordinary endeavor. Click here for more info and here for more from this great sale.
Offered by Leclere-MDV | Herimoncourt, France | September 16, 2018
Photo – Leclere-MDV
The Peugeot Type 177 was produced between 1924 and 1929. It was the company’s mid-range offering and the 177M went on sale in 1927 featuring a transparent roof. But this car carries a coachbuilt body by Weymann and the exterior is wrapped in waterproof fabric, a Weymann signature touch.
The engine is a straight-four making 28 horsepower. This car underwent a 10 year restoration that began in 1994. Finished in Bordeaux red, the black fabric appears to be a landaulette, but is indeed a fixed-roof sedan.
Only 130 Weymann-bodied Type 177Ms were known to have been built and only three are known to still exist. This one should bring between $20,000-$23,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Las Vegas, Nevada | September 27-29, 2018
Photo – Barrett-Jackson
The Moreland Motor Truck Company operated between 1917 and 1940 in Burbank, California. They never built passenger cars and focused on commercial truck production for the duration of their existence.
This truck is powered by a Continental straight-six and a 3-speed manual transmission. Well restored, this truck features some original equipment from 1927, including its spare tire. The wood that makes up part of this truck is solid oak.
Finished in Union Oil livery, this truck has a pretty wide appeal – which is about the only reason it’s in this sale. Commercial trucks aren’t heavily featured in major collector car auctions. But when they have some relation to petroliana, they end up making the cut. This will sell at no reserve and you can find out more about it here. Click here for more from this sale.
1927 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A S Roadster by Fleetwood
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 24-25, 2018
Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
Isotta Fraschini dates to 1900, when it was founded by Cesare Isotta and the three Fraschini brothers: Vincenzo, Antonio, and Oreste. Cars were available from the outset, with production wrapping up about the time WWII came around (though five units were produced after the war).
The legendary and most well-regarded models in the company’s history were from the Tipo 8 line. The Tipo 8A was the second-generation model, available from 1924 through 1931. It’s powered by a 7.4-liter straight-eight and horsepower depended on which car you bought. This is a “Sport” model, so it rides on a shortened wheelbase.
NYC-based Fleetwood bodied two similar Tipo 8As in period. This one was custom built for legendary silent film star Rudolph Valentino but, unfortunately, he died before the car was delivered. The current owners bought the car in 2001 and had RM do a thorough, award-winning restoration, as the car has been shown successfully on multiple occasions since. It’ll be a big dollar car when it crosses the block in Monterey. Click here for more info and here for more from RM.
Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Uncasville, Connecticut | June 20-23, 2018
Photo – Barrett-Jackson
Kit cars took off after WWII. When fiberglass arrived, the boom really started. The idea was simple. Step 1: buy a cheap, common car. Step 2: buy a body from a different manufacturer. Step 3: combine the best of both cars to create a new vehicle, usually called whatever the body manufacturer has decided it should be called.
And that’s pretty much what we have here, except this occurred after WWI. And what was the easiest common car to get a hold of at that time? Well, a Model T of course. The Mercury Speedster was a racy body produced by the Louisville, Kentucky-based Mercury Body Corporation between 1920 and 1926 (they also built some for Chevrolet chassis).
The sold about 1,600 of these and less than 100 are known to still exist. This one is presumably based on a ’27 T, meaning it’s powered by a 20 horsepower, 2.9-liter straight-four. Note, this “Mercury” is not in any way associated with any of the other Mercury factory-built cars (especially the ones actually built by Ford beginning in 1939).
It’s an interesting car with an interesting history and it will sell at No Reserve at Barrett-Jackson’s Northeast sale in a few weeks. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.